Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A Book Review: Pandora's Star

Book Title: Pandora’s Star
Author: Peter F. Hamilton
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 988

Quality Rating: 7
Content Rating: R

This book hearkens back to the greats of science fiction when it comes to the epicness (yes that’s a made up word) of the storyline. It involves a galactic society of humans reminiscent of Asimov’s amazing Galactic Empire, though it is much more in touch with Earth as we know it. The society is one I can see our human society becoming, not some beautiful utopia or closed-fist dystopia. It is a middle road sort of society, much like the governments and societies we have today. The aliens are exotic, not just various forms of biped humanoids, but rather truly alien aliens that my mind had a hard time picturing, though Hamilton did an excellent job describing them. For readers who lament the passing of the Golden Age of Science Fiction, Pandora’s Star is a much welcomed relief. I felt like I was reading a story Asimov could have thought of, if he was alive in today’s modern technological world. However, for readers who prefer to have only a handful of characters, Pandora’s Star is not the best option. A sole main character is hard to pinpoint, for the story jumps between at least a dozen characters. Hamilton starts the story with several seeming unrelated stories that at first lost me, for as soon as I gained attachment to one character I was moving on to another. However, in the end the epic plot pulled me through. The story was definitely plot driven.

I rate this book an ‘R’ when it comes to content rating for the same reasons movies rate things ‘R’. The f word was used often, and at some points often on the same page. There was also some intense sci-fi action/violence. Sexual content alone I would probably give a PG-13, as in all scenarios there were no details, though there was a good bit of mentioning sexual acts in one of the character story arcs, mainly using the f word written about above. If you have further questions about how I would rate this book because you want to read it or one of your kids is interested in reading it, just leave a comment and I will answer it.

All in all, I found Pandora’s Star to be a very refreshing and riveting read. Not quite a book I could not put down, but it was a page turner. I quite enjoyed it. I always love a good science fiction novel, and this was definitely that.

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